Thursday, November 9, 2017

An Asian Twist on a Fall Classic


Nothing like warm soup on a cold day. Tonia's Kitchen recently talked with someone from Moosewood Favorites about their Thai Butternut Squash soup. The author of Moosewood Restaurant Favorites told Tonia one of the more visually attractive things about this soup is it's vibrant orange color, that's flecked with green. The recipe includes a number of flavors, including garlic, curry, ginger and of course, fresh squash.  It's a delicious, seasonal soup that will help keep both you and your tastebuds warm!

Thai Butternut Squash Soup   

Yields 9 cups
Time: 55 minutes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Thai curry paste, or more later to taste
1 butternut squash (about 212 pounds), peeled, seeded, and chopped (6 cups)
3 cups water
1 lime
one 14- ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups baby spinach, cut into chiffonade (see page 374)
sugar as needed
14 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Warm the oil in a covered soup pot on medium- low heat. Add the onions, garlic, and salt and cook until the onions have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the ginger and curry paste and cook for a minute or two more. Add the squash and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, zest and juice the lime. Add about a teaspoon of zest and 1 tablespoon of the juice to the pot. When the squash is tender, stir in half of the coconut milk. In a blender or food processor, purée the soup. Be careful, hot soup can erupt!
Return the puréed soup to the pot and reheat.

Taste for sweetness, spice, salt, and tang. Depending on the sweetness of your squash, a spoonful of sugar may bring the soup to life. Add more lime juice and/or curry paste to taste. Stir in the chiffonade of spinach and the cilantro, if using, and cook just until the spinach has wilted.

Add 1 or 2 keiffir lime leaves to the pot while the squash is simmering. Remove and discard before puréeing.
Substitute lemon zest and juice for the lime.
Although butternut is the easiest winter squash to peel, other winter squashes can be used. Or, to save time, substitute three 12- ounce packages of frozen winter squash for the fresh, or use the precut fresh squash cubes that many supermarkets offer.

Replace the squash with sweet potatoes.